The quality assurance procedures at SICT are following the Quality Assurance at Aalborg University. Below are descriptions of SICT’s procedures regarding, planning, execution and evaluation of semesters, annual study programme evaluations and triannual study programme self evaluations.
SICT quality assurance
Annual Cycle Of Quality Assurance
The quality assurance procedures at SICT are following an annual cycle that consists of the following subjects:
- Semester planning
- Semester execution
- Semester and teaching evaluation
- Study programme evaluation
- Monitoring and guiding of students behind schedule
- Cooperation and dialogue with the industry
- Dialogue with graduates
- Dialogue with external examiners
- Study programme key performance indicators
- Self-evaluation of study programmes
Study board secretaries, study secretaries, semester coordinators and others that are responsible for the planning, execution and evaluation of semesters at SICT should be aware of the deadlines and persons responsible for the actions as listed in the annual cycle.
The individual items of the annual cycle of quality assurance pertaining to the planning, execution and evaluation of semesters are described in detail in SICT's semester management handbook. The handbook also contains templates for detailing the students' workload in courses, agenda for the semester group meetings, minutes of semester group meetings and semester evaluation. All the templates are available in the menu to the right.
The semester management cycle starts in April and October for autumn and spring semesters, respectively, and is initiated by SICT’s release of teaching requisitions to the departments. The departments then appoint semester coordinators and later course teachers, project supervisors etc. The semester coordinator’s first task is to prepare the semester description, following the study board’s conclusions on the evaluation of last year’s iteration of the semester, and in agreement with the other teachers of the semester. The study board approves the semester description on its June, respectively, December meetings. Other tasks involved in the semester planning includes preparation of information and teaching material to be published on the Moodle platform for the students, to make teaching and meeting schedules, make appointments with external guest lecturers, ensure the availability of equipment, etc.
The semester starts by the semester coordinator and the teachers of the semester presenting the prepared semester description, introducing the courses, presenting project proposals, etc. for the students, and by the students forming project groups. The semester coordinator asks the students to appoint a representative from each project group to enter into the semester group, which will be meeting 2-3 times during the semester to make a status on the course teaching, the project work, etc. Minutes from these meetings will be published at the semester’s room in Moodle, and will form part of the basis for the semester coordinator’s subsequent preparation of the semester evaluation report.
Semester And Teaching Evaluations
The semester and teaching evaluation report prepared by the semester coordinator will be based partly on the general experience of the semester and on how the courses and project modules have been perceived.
In short, the procedure consists of the following steps:
1) Preparation of the semester and teaching evaluation
The school sends out a short questionnaire to each student in the middle of June for the spring semester, and in the middle of January for the fall semester.
Based on the answers to the questionnaire, minutes of semester group meetings and other kinds of written feedback from students, lecturers and project supervisors, the semester coordinator prepares a draft semester and teaching evaluation report.
The semester coordinator sends the draft report to the members of the semester group and the study secretary for comments.
After a possible adjustment of the draft, the semester coordinator then sends the final evaluation report to the study board no later than October 1 for the spring semester and March 1 for the fall semester.
2) Processing of the semester and teaching evaluation
Based on the semester evaluation report the study board evaluates the past semester’s planning, execution and evaluation at a study board meeting in March and October, respectively, and prepares conclusions that are the basis for possible adjustments of the planning, execution and/or evaluation of the next iteration of that semester.
3) Communication of the semester and teaching evaluation
The conclusions are published at the study board’s homepage and is sent to relevant parties including semester coordinators, department heads, study board secretaries, and (via study secretaries) subsequently to the coming semester coordinator.
Shortly after the study board meeting, the students are informed that the semester coordinator's summary and recommendations as well as the study board's conclusions can be accessed at the homepage of the study board.
4) Follow-up of the semester and teaching evaluation
Depending on the nature of the conclusions for the individual programme semesters, the study board contacts relevant parties (department heads, semester coordinators, course lecturers, project supervisors, study programme groups) and initiates the required adjustments in due time before the next semester’s iteration.
The implementation of adjustments is carried out by the semester coordinator, course lecturers, project supervisors and/or the study board, semester group or study programme group depending on the type of adjustment.
Study programme evaluations
Study programme evaluation is carried out each year, based on responses from graduating bachelor's and master's students on a questionnaire. The questionnaire contains questions within the following main areas on the individual student's e xperience of the coherence and progression of the entire study programme:
- fulfilment of expectations
- professional content and level
- learning objectives
- study load
The graduates' answers are discussed on study board meetings and can result in adjustment of the planning, execution and evaluation of teaching as well as changes in the curriculum. Summaries from study board meetings can be accessed at s ict.intranet.aau.dk, and with effect from spring 2014 the results of the study boards' discussions of the evaluations are published in separate documents at the homepages of the study boards and the school.
The study council is discussing the study boards' comments to the evaluation reports on study council meetings. Summaries from these meetings can be accessed at sict.intranet.aau.dk.
Students who participated in the evaluations are informed beforehand that the results of the evaluations will available in October at the school's quality assurance webpage in October.
Continuing Education Evaluations
Evaluation of study programmes for continuing education is carried out after the examination of each subject/module/trimester and is partly based on responses on a questionnaire from the students about their experience of the subject/module/trimester as well as the conclusions made by the responsible teacher of each module/trimester.
As for the Master in IT (Software Development) the school sends out a questionnaire after the examination of each subject - that is 3 questionnaires in all, where the last questionnaire contains questions about the evaluation of the entire module.
On basis of the answers of the questionnaire the responsible teacher of each module/trimester prepares an evaluation report which is sent to the study board who will evaluate the module and prepare their conclusions that are basis for possible adjustments to future subjects/modules. The conclusions from the study board are published at sict.aau.dk by the school.
Study Board Reports On Study Programme KPI's
In October each year, each study board receives an automatically generated report on key performance indicators (KPIs) of the study programmes that the study board is responsible for. The chairman of the study board makes sure that the report is discussed at a study board meeting along with information on the latest analysis and guidance of students behind schedule. The chairman of the study board works out a brief report on the study board’s conclusions on the KPI report and sends the report to the head of school that subsequently forwards the report to the Faculty of Engineering and Science. The dean calls for a meeting with the head of school and the chairman of the study board in December, where the report and the plan of actions resulting from the self-evaluation procedure (see below) are discussed.
Self Evaluation Of Study Programmes
Each study programme gets evaluated every three years following the AAU procedure for self-evaluations of study programmes. The self-evaluation of a study programme is based on analysis of systematically collected information on the programme, the student performance, the graduates, the collaboration with industry and society in general, the research environment and the pedagogical competence development of the teachers. The chairman of the study board and the head of school prepare a self-evaluation report based on information provided by the Faculty of Engineering and Science, the relevant departments, and others. After adjustment of the report based on comments from the study board, an evaluation meeting is then held with a subject matter expert and a representative from industry that comments on the self-evaluation report. Based on the comments, the head of school and the chairmanship of the study board work out a draft plan of actions that gets presented to the study board for approval. Following that, the revised plan of actions and the annual KPI report (see above) is discussed with the dean, and a final plan of actions is worked out. The following two years, the head of school works out a status report concerning the fulfilment of the plan of actions. The status report and the annual KPI report are then discussed with the dean, and a revised plan of actions is possibly made.
As part of the procedure “Follow-up on identified problems in the study environment at ENG and TECH”, which describes the role of the study boards and head of studies in connection with the handling and registration of study environment problems you can here read how SICT handles the follow-up on feedback regarding the study environment.
The study board collects and registers problems about the physical, psychological and aesthetic study environment once each semester. Apart from that the study board continuously registers minor problems concerning the study environment, which can be solved (e.g. via reporting to CAS or ITS).
The remaining problems are collected via two different sources:
- Listed problems in summaries from semester group meetings under the specific agenda item concerning the physical, psychological and aesthetic environment
- Problems pointed out by students in semester and teaching evaluations under the specific question about the physical, psychological and aesthetic environment
The problems collected are registered in the school’s overview of study environment problems, and the study board indicates if the problems can be solved by the study board.
The completed overview is sent to the head of studies no later than in the middle of March for fall semesters and the middle of October for spring semesters.
The head of studies identifies problems and shortcomings in the physical study environment across study boards and sends them to CAS no later than April 1 and November 1. The head of studies sends respectively April 1 and November 1 the remaining unsolved problems and if any other wishes from the study board chairman (coordinated if relevant) to the department managers.
The department manager evaluates the received problems, sends unsolved problems to the associate dean, and sends status of the psychological and aesthetic environment to the head of studies.
After this, the students receive a complete feedback from the head of studies about the problems and wishes if any. The feedback is available on this page.